America is the promised land, because each generation bequeathed to its children a promise, a promise that they might not come to enjoy but which they fully expected their offspring to fulfill. So the words 'all men are created equal' took a life of its own, ultimately destined to end slavery and enfranchise women. And the words 'equal protection' and 'due process' inevitably led to the end of the words 'separate but equal,' ensuring that the walls of segregation would crumble, whether at the lunch counter or at the voting booth.
Books! The chosen depositories of the thoughts, the opinions, and the aspirations of mighty intellects; like wondrous mirrors that have caught and fixed bright images of souls that have passed away; like magic lyres, whose masters have bequeathed them to the world, and which yet, of themselves, ring with unforgotten music, while the hands that touched their chords have crumbled into dust. Books! they are the embodiments and manifestations of departed minds--the living organs through which those who are dead yet speak to us.
The most delicate beauty in the mind of women is, and ever must be, an independence of artificial stimulants for content. It is not so with men. The links that bind men to capitals belong to the golden chain of civilization,--the chain which fastens all our destinies to the throne of Jove. And hence the larger proportion of men in whom genius is pre-eminent have preferred to live in cities, though some of them have bequeathed to us the loveliest pictures of the rural scenes in which they declined to dwell.
Lincoln's appeal to 'the better angels of our nature' failed to avert a fratricidal war. But the compassionate wisdom of Lincoln's first and second inaugurals bequeathed to the Union, cemented with blood, a moral heritage which, when drawn upon in times of stress and strife, is sure to find specific ways and means to surmount difficulties that may appear to be insurmountable
We live an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create the Declaration. Our Declaration created them. ... If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it.
When Christ was about to leave the world, He made His will. His soul He committed to His father; His body He bequeathed to Joseph to be decently interred; His clothes fell to the soldiers; His mother He left to the care of John; but what should He leave to His poor disciples that had left all for Him? Silver and gold He had none; but He left them that which was infinitely better, His peace.
From high Meonia's rocky shores I came, Of poor decsent, Acoetes is my name, My sire was measly born: no oxen ploughed, His fruitful fields, nor in his pastures lowed, His whole estate within the waters lay' With lines and hooks he caught the finny prey; His art was all his livelehood, which he Thus with his dying lips bequeathed to me: In streams, my boy, and rivers take thy chance; There swims', said he, Thy whole inheritance.
Where today are the Pequot? Where are the Narragansett, the Mohican, the Pokanoket, and many other once powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished before the avarice and the oppression of the White Man, as snow before a summer sun. Will we let ourselves be destroyed in our turn without a struggle, give up our homes, our country bequeathed to us by the Great Spirit, the graves of our dead and everything that is dear and sacred to us? I know you will cry with me, 'Never! Never!'